At least three generations of our kung fu family gathered together to play Tai Chi at the Albuquerque Open Space Visitors Center. It was the annual Festival of Sandhill Cranes and Tai Chi with Cranes celebration and the sun warmed the pleasantly crisp autumn morning as more than fifty moved in unison as a meditative wave of health, life and inner tranquility. As we moved we could see nearly a hundred cranes in the field just below the center and could watch living examples of how the graceful movements of the cranes inspired and influenced the earliest of Tai Chi forms.
Sifu Dug led us through our Gentle Flexibility and Tai Chi Qigong and then the Senior Citizens' Tai Chi Set. Afterward we gather at the Corrales Flying Star for a fireside breakfast and a few wonderful moments of getting to know our kung fu family just a little better. On Saturday afternoon Dr. Paul Rossignol gave an enlightening and enjoyable talk on the phases of the Five Elements and how to use them to enhance our lives, health and practice.
On Sunday morning we gathered in at Los Poblanos fields and did the Long Form only a scant few yards from the sandhill cranes and other water fowl. There was a fresh smell in the air clean by the gentle overnight rains and the musical calls of the birds filled the atmosphere. After we finished the Long Form we practiced a few Soaring Crane Qigong movements and worked on Tai Chi Celestial Ruler in the afternoon.
Next year Sifu Dug hopes to expand Tai Chi with the Cranes, which will be in its fifth year, by inviting in other instructors in from our kung fu family from around the country to lead various groups and workshops. He has made an arrangements with Nahalat Shalom, his family's synagogue (which is very close to the Open Space Visitors Center), to use their facilities to conduct multiple workshops over the weekend of Albuquerque's Festival of the Cranes.